BRICS a voice for 'peace, reform, reason, purposeful action' - Modi
The BRICS nations have been a voice for “peace, reform, reason and purposeful action,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Oct. 16 at the BRICS Summit in Goa. He also called on the members of the grouping to play a more active role in setting the direction to help meet common aspirations and goals.
“I firmly believe the simultaneous development of Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa and India is the best bet for global growth and development,” Modi said. The five members account for 43 per cent of the world’s population and almost a quarter of the global economy.
The Indian Prime Minister said a clear roadmap was required to revive the global economy. While India and China continue to post high GDP growth, the Russian and Brazilian economies contracted in 2015. South Africa has also witnessed economic difficulties this year but is expected to grow in 2016.
“If new drivers of growth have to take root, there must be unhindered flow of skilled talent, ideas, technology & capital across borders,” Modi said at the BRICS Summit.
In previous editions of the BRICS annual summit, there have been discussions about easier visa procedures for entrepreneurs from member countries, but no concrete proposal has been made, as of yet.
United front against terrorism
While stressing on greater economic integration, Modi also said that economic prosperity was tied to geo-politics. “Our increasing inter-dependence means that our march towards economic prosperity cannot be separated from the emerging geo-political context.”
The Indian Prime Minister made veiled references to Pakistan in his speech, and also indirectly called out China for blocking attempts at the United Nations to get Pakistani militant Maulana Masood Azhar a terrorist.
“We are united in our belief that terrorism and its supporters have to be punished, not rewarded,” Modi said.
Modi also called Pakistan the “mother-ship” of terrorism. “The most serious direct threat to our eco prosperity is terrorism; Tragically, its mother-ship is a country in India's neighborhood,” he said.
The Indian Prime Minister said the growing arc of terrorism threatened the Middle East, West Asia, Europe and South Asia, and called on the BRICS members to “stand and act together, and speak in one voice.”
Russian support for Indian anti-terror initiatives
At the 17th Indo-Russian Annual Summit, Russia backed Indian calls for greater global anti-terrorism cooperation.
“India and Russia recognise the threat posed by terrorism, and believe that the full implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy without application of any double standards or selectivity will be instrumental in countering this challenge,” the joint statement, released by the two countries after the summit, said.
“They stressed the need to deny safe havens to terrorists and the importance of countering the spread of terrorist ideology as well as radicalization leading to terrorism, stopping recruitment, preventing travel of terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters, strengthening border management and having effective legal assistance and extradition arrangements,” the joint statement said.
India is seeking the support of BRICS members to push across the Comprehensive Convention on International Terror (CCIT) in the United Nations. The convention, which was launched by India in 1996, has a framework that would legally bind all countries to deny funds and safe haven to terror groups.
BRICS Business Council
After their restricted meeting, the BRICS leaders addressed the BRICS Business Council, which was set up after the 2013 summit to promote and strengthen business, trade and investment ties amongst the business communities the five BRICS countries.
“Business communities are strongest proponents for closer and faster commercial cooperation,” Modi said. “Their partnerships create wealth and value in our societies.”
Putin added that the council, which was formed on Russia’s initiative, has done a good job in promoting economic ties between the countries. He also called for a greater coordination between the council and the New Development Bank.
Xi said China would support the initiatives of the council and back efforts to develop infrastructure in the BRICS countries.
The council held a meeting on Oct. 15, where it recommended that a BRICS ratings agency be formed. “Among key recommendations of various working groups of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa Business Council is the continued dialogue on BRICS rating agency,” Onkar Kanwar, the India Chapter Chairman of the BRICS Business Council, said.
K.V. Kamath, head of the New Development Bank also addressed the BRICS heads.
As the chair of the BRICS, India is hosting the summit under the slogan “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.” A joint declaration will be made after the conclusion of the BRICS Summit and the BRICS outreach meeting with BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation)
The 2017 BRICS Summit will be hosted by China.